Things to Do in Cusco While Acclimating

Things to Do in Cusco While Acclimating

If you’re planning a trip to Cusco, Peru, it’s important to keep in mind that the city sits at an altitude of over 11,000 feet above sea level. This means that visitors may experience some altitude sickness, which can cause symptoms like headaches, nausea, and shortness of breath. To help your body adjust to the altitude, it’s a good idea to take it easy for the first few days and do some low-impact activities. Here are 20 things to do in Cusco while acclimating:

1. Visit Plaza de Armas

Located in the heart of Cusco, Plaza de Armas is a beautiful public square surrounded by historic buildings and churches. It’s a great place to people-watch and take in the sights and sounds of the city.

Main Square of Cusco - Plaza de Armas

Cusco’s Plaza de Armas is the best thing to do in Cusco while acclimating, where you can sit and relax.

2. Explore San Blas

This charming neighborhood is known for its narrow cobblestone streets, colorful houses, and artisan shops. It’s a great place to wander and get lost in the beauty of Cusco.

3. Visit the Cusco Cathedral

This stunning cathedral is located on Plaza de Armas and features beautiful colonial architecture and artwork. It’s definitely worth a visit.

4. Walk along the Inca Walls

Cusco’s ancient Inca walls are an impressive feat of engineering and a testament to the skill of the Inca civilization. Take a stroll along the walls and imagine what life was like during the Inca Empire.

5. Visit the Qorikancha

Once the most important temple in the Inca Empire, the Qorikancha is now a fascinating museum that showcases the history and culture of the Incas.

6. Check out Sacsayhuaman

This impressive Inca ruin is located just outside of Cusco and features massive stone walls and impressive views of the city. It’s a great place to learn more about the Inca Empire and take in some stunning scenery.

Sacsayhuaman Cusco

Sacsayhuaman is a great place to visit while acclimating in Cusco due to its high altitude and stunning views of the city. At an elevation of over 12,000 feet, a visit to Sacsayhuaman can help with acclimatization and prepare the body for other high-altitude activities.

7. Visit the Mercado Central de San Pedro

This bustling market is a great place to sample local food, buy souvenirs, and experience the vibrant culture of Cusco.

8. Take a cooking class

Learn how to cook traditional Peruvian dishes and immerse yourself in the local culinary scene with a cooking class.

9. Take a day trip to the Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley is a beautiful region just outside of Cusco that’s known for its stunning landscapes and ancient ruins. Take a day trip to explore the area and learn more about the history and culture of the Incas.

10. Try local food

One of the best things about visiting Cusco is the delicious local food. Don’t be afraid to try new dishes and flavors while you’re here.

11. Visit the Museo de Arte Precolombino

This museum houses a collection of ancient art and artifacts from throughout the Americas.

12. Take a walking tour

Join a guided walking tour to learn more about Cusco’s history and culture, and get tips on the best places to visit and eat.

13. Visit the ChocoMuseo

This museum and chocolate shop offers a fun and interactive experience where you can learn about the history of chocolate and even make your own chocolate bar.

14. Take a yoga or meditation class

Cusco has several yoga and meditation studios that offer classes for all levels. It’s a great way to relax and focus your mind while acclimating to the altitude.

15. Visit the Planetarium Cusco

This planetarium offers a unique opportunity to learn about the stars and constellations in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as

the importance of astronomy in Andean culture.

16. Take a hot springs soak

There are several hot springs near Cusco where you can relax and soothe your muscles after a day of exploring.

17. Visit the Cusco Art Museum

This museum houses a collection of contemporary Peruvian art, as well as a historical collection of Cusco’s colonial art.

18. Take a tour of the Moray and Maras Salt Mines

These unique Inca ruins are located in the Sacred Valley and offer a fascinating glimpse into Inca agriculture and salt production.

19. Go on a horseback riding tour

Explore the beautiful landscapes around Cusco on horseback with a guided tour.

20. Take a language class

Immerse yourself in the local culture by taking a language class in Spanish or Quechua, the indigenous language of the Andes.

How many days to acclimate in Cusco?

The amount of time it takes to acclimate to the altitude in Cusco can vary from person to person. Generally, it is recommended to spend at least two days in Cusco before embarking on any high-altitude activities.

During these first few days, it’s important to take it easy, stay hydrated, and avoid alcohol and heavy meals. Some people may experience mild symptoms of altitude sickness during this time, such as headaches, nausea, and fatigue, but these usually go away within a few days.

If you plan to do any strenuous activities like hiking, it’s recommended to spend even more time acclimating to the altitude. It’s always best to listen to your body and take things slow while adjusting to the high altitude in Cusco.


Cusco is a beautiful and historic city that offers a wealth of activities for visitors to enjoy. While acclimating to the altitude, it’s important to take it easy and do low-impact activities. The 20 things listed above offer a great mix of cultural, culinary, and outdoor experiences that are perfect for acclimating to the altitude and exploring all that Cusco has to offer.

Whether you’re interested in history, art, food, or adventure, there’s something for everyone in this amazing city. And if you need any help planning your trip, be sure to reach out to Xplore Cusco, your expert tour guide for all things Cusco!

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